Apr 28, 2015 - 11:32 AM - by garyopa
In Light Of PlayStation 4's Dominance
Microsoft released its earnings last week, and apart from the Xbox division, everything else seems to be OK. No doubt the success of the PS4 is making life difficult for Xbox head, Phil and Microsoft!
The latest earnings report is out from Microsoft earlier this week, and it is not looking very rosy at all their Xbox dept. it has only shipped 1.6 million (combined 360/xb1) consoles in the last quarter, and overall revenue is down, only things keeping the Xbox end afloat right now is Xbox Live itself and surprising enough the Minecraft games.
So what you think of Microsoft's latest report, will they be able to find a way to climb past the very successful PlayStation 4?
The company could only manage to ship 1.6 million Xbox consoles this quarter, which includes Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It is clear that dropping the price to $349 is not enough to kick things into gear because the PlayStation 4 at $399 is still going strong.
During the same period back in 2014, Microsoft shipped 2 million consoles to retailers, and at that time the price of the device was $499. Chances are, all the main Xbox fans have gotten their console, which could be the reason for low sales. If not, then it could have a lot to do with not having any killer first-party title available.
On the matter of Microsoft's gaming division on a whole, it experiences a loss in revenue of over $72 million. The low income has a lot to with disappointing sales from the Xbox platform, and since Microsoft doesn't have a first-party title coming out soon, the same is expected for the next quarter.
Bad news is not all, as Xbox Live and store revenues have increased by 32 percent or $144 million. This was due to an increase in the total number of Xbox Live users, probably because of the price-drop.
When Windows 10 is released later in the year, Xbox Live and store sales will likely see another increase since the platform is expected to be a central part of the new operating system's experience going forward.
The company's first-party titles saw an increase of 49 percent in sales; this is mainly due to the continued success of Minecraft. It has proven that Microsoft was right to purchase Mojang when it did because the sale has become a saving grace for the company's bottom line.
Overall, Microsoft posted $21.7 billion in revenue, which is up from $20.4 billion in the same quarter, back in 2014.
NEWS SOURCE #1: Microsoft In Trouble As Xbox Sales Drop (via) TechTimes
NEWS SOURCE #2: Xbox Sales Fall in Latest Quarter (via) GameSpot
Apr 27, 2015 - 10:44 PM - by garyopa
Sorry, Chief. - You're Grounded! - Six months of debugging on the Xbox One, and we are still broken!
Developer 343 Industries was forced to cancel one of its official Halo tournaments after Xbox One shooter Master Chief Collection ran into connectivity problems.
Halo fans and eSports gamers are ranting mad on Twitter and other forums around the world, as Halo breaks down on the Xbox One consoles forcing the tournament to be cut short with no winner to be crowned. Even worse they had six months of debugging and many betas and patches to fix these simple issues, but still under real load of many players at once gaming together it does not work at all.
So far no more news on this, except maybe next time it will work. At least Halo 5 they claim will have dedicated servers and no p2p so maybe that might help in the future, but can we ever trust the power of the Xbox Cloud to make gaming better and more stable?
Halo: Combat Evolved may have been one of the first console shooters to hit the competitive gaming circuit but a recent tournament was derailed because almost six months later, The Master Chief Collection is still broken. The official Halo eSports league, Halo Championship Series, had to cancel the first online cup of the regular season over the weekend due to connectivity issues. Seriously. As Eurogamer reports, games took place on Saturday but went off the rails on Sunday for the competition's conclusion.
We've reached out to Microsoft for more details and will update this post should any arise. For now, perhaps put those dreams of a pro Halo career on hold until Halo 5: Guardians hits. Maybe. Who knows. The beta ran well enough during our stream, but there are a lot of variables at play here. At least we have free ODST coming to distract us in the meantime, right?
NEWS SOURCE: 'Halo' tournament canceled because Xbox One game is still broken (via) EnGadget
Apr 26, 2015 - 11:46 PM - by garyopa
No Plans For Another Beta
Halo fans around the world are eagerly awaiting Halo 5: Guardians and some are even waiting to purchase an Xbox One for it and are looking for the limited edition Xbox One to be announced.
For fans of Halo, holding off on buying an Xbox One because they wanted an 'Limited Edition' console are now very happy, as it has been confirmed that one indeed is happening and it will be 'very sweet' infact also, but this amazing news came along side some bad horrible sad news, the fact no more BETA's are planned for the upcoming Halo 5, you just have to wait until October 27th, 2015 for it.
So are you happy that 'Limited Edition' is infact coming and are you finally going to grab an Xbox One because of it for Halo 5?
Halo 5: Guardians studio head, Josh Holmes was asked recently via Twitter if there is going to be a Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One and to the fans surprise Josh said there would be.
"There is a limited edition console coming, yes. It hasn't been revealed yet, but it's pretty sweet. "
Of course there is no confirmation of when this limited edition console might be coming but Halo fans will find solace in that fact that it is coming at all. On the other hand, it seems that Josh Holmes has also mentioned that there are currently no plans for another Halo 5: Guardians beta. As he said with a firm;
"There are no plans for another H5 beta."
That can be a bit disappointing, but he also went on to mention that the game will have no P2P, but dedicated servers and a brand new progression system. Fans have a lot to be excited about leading up to the release date of Halo 5: Guardians.
Halo 5: Guardians is set to release exclusively for Xbox One on October 27th, 2015.
NEWS SOURCE: Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One Coming (via) AttackOfTheFanBoy
Apr 26, 2015 - 6:08 PM - by garyopa
Pre-order now and get access to the Multiplayer Beta
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a dark, gritty future where a new breed of Black Ops soldier emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the cutting-edge military robotics that define.
April 26th, 2015 has finally appeared and this Sunday we get to know what Call of Duty: Black Ops III is all about, and the fact it is coming out only for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC and that big day you will be able to pick it up is November 6th, but if you grab a pre-order from your local GameShop before that date, you will get some extra goodies and chance to try out the beta release.
Find attached below, with our thanks to Activision some screenshots, key art, packaging and reveal trailer they shared with us today.
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Apr 26, 2015 - 11:42 AM - by garyopa
Originally, they said they would not do a 'remake', but seems like those GoW plans have changed now!
The Gears of War series is about to make its debut on Xbox One. A remake of the first Gears game will be released for the next-gen console soon. Some lucky users have already got to test a Alpha build
Seems like the plans for Gears of War on next-gen has been changed by someone, as originally the new GoW studio claimed that they only going to whole brand-new GoW game for Xbox One owners, but now info has appeared that certain lucky alpha users have gotten a chance to try out a 'remake' of the first GoW game on their XB1 console, so it seems Microsoft has gotten the new studio to do remake while we wait for brand-new GoW to appear, or hired another studio to redo the old games all in bid of course to keep their fans happy.
So what you think of the news of 'remake' coming out soon? -- I guess we will know for sure about all their GoW plans at E3 '15.
Gears of War's Xbox One remake will have updated graphics, according to Polygon's report. The game will have upgraded lighting and textures and run at 60 frames per second. The cinematics are also being remade by animation studio Plastic Wax.
Soon after Polygon's report was released, several gamers in the United States were invited to a test of the Xbox One remake. Kotaku says that the test included several multiplayer modes including King of the Hill and Team Deathmatch.
Black Tusk Studios general manager Rod Fergusson specifically said last month we wouldn't be getting Xbox One remakes of the Gears of War games. Fergusson, whose company is making a brand-new Gears of War for Xbox One, shut down rumors of a "Marcus Fenix Collection" for XB1 including the first three games in the series.
"Seeing lots of buzz about a Marcus Fenix Collection, even more so recently," Fergusson said at the time. "I love the passion, but there's no Marcus Fenix Collection. We ARE working on other exciting Gears projects."
The newly revealed Gears of War remake doesn't contradict Fergusson's statement. He left enough wiggle room for himself. He denied that a bundle of Gears of Wars remakes was on the way but didn't say anything about the possibility of a single game being re-released.
It's also possible Black Tusk Studios isn't involved in the project. One of Polygon's sources says that Splash Damage is remastering Gears of War. Splash Damage is the studio behind Brink, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and the multiplayer for Batman: Arkham Origins. Polygon notes that the company's job listings mention that they're making a "very well known and highly popular AAA title with next gen technology."
Because Gears of War's remake hasn't been officially announced yet, we don't know when it's going to launch. November 7th will be the 9th anniversary of its launch on Xbox 360. However, that might be a little too close to the release date for Halo 5, Microsoft's big fall release. Maybe they'll release the GoW remake this summer to tide Xbox One gamers over until Master Chief's return?
The Gears remake is also a way to hold fans' attention while they wait for the next game in the series. We haven't seen a single screenshot from the next Gears of War yet so it's safe to say it's not coming this year. We probably won't even get an official announcement of the game until Microsoft's E3 press conference in June.
NEWS SOURCE: Gears Of War Remake Coming To Xbox One (via) CinemaBlend
Apr 25, 2015 - 10:57 AM - by garyopa
First foreign hacker ever to be sentenced in the USA
David Pokora, 22, of Ontario, Canada was sentenced to 18 months in prison in a Delaware federal court. The sentence, a first of its kind, comes as the U.S.A. tries to grapple with major cyber threats.
We reported before on the fall-out from the hackers like SuperDAE and SonicISO that were trading early info on the Xbox One while it was in development stages back, and finally one of the so-called 'ring-leaders' an Canadian one has become the first ever hacker from another country to spend the next couple of years in a USA prison for his role in the operation.
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The first foreign hacker ever convicted of stealing trade secrets in the United States was sentenced in federal court in Delaware on Thursday.
David Pokora, 22, of Ontario, Canada, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
The sentence, a first of its kind, comes as the United States grapples with major cyber threats, such as last year's attack on Sony that delayed a movie release and countless other breaches where customer data was stolen from stores including Target, Home Depot and Staples.
"[Pokora's sentence] is a message that will be heard around the world," Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward McAndrew said. "This is a very significant case for the United States government."
The hacker group that Pokora appeared to lead mostly targeted the gaming world, including stealing information from Microsoft that allowed the group to build its own Xbox One game system before it was released and to secure prerelease versions of video games, including "Gears of War 3" and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3."
Pokora pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity using a computer.
Others in the group - Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey; Austin Alcala, 19, of McCordsville, Indiana; and Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland - also have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing this spring.
The group was responsible for stealing over $100 million worth of intellectual property from major technology companies, including Microsoft, EA Games, Activision/Blizzard, Zombie Studios and Valve Corp.
The hackers broke into companies' networks in a simple way - by obtaining the usernames and passwords of employees. Once in the network, they were able to steal trade secrets.
The group of avid gamers often would use the information for themselves, but also constructed and sold at least one Microsoft Xbox One before it went on the market in November 2013.
The group, through a breach of Zombie Studios, gained access to the U.S. Army's computer network and training software that was being developed for the Apache helicopter.
U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet hinted Thursday that some of the targeted companies wrote to him about the impact of the cyber thefts. However, Sleet did not elaborate in open court because the letters and other court documents have been sealed.
McAndrew would not say why the documents have been sealed.
Pokora, who was a computer science major at the University of Toronto, told Sleet he is remorseful and understands the significance of his crimes.
"I hurt a lot of people, including the companies that I valued and looked up to," Pokora said. "They work really hard on innovating, and they don't deserve to have their hard work [stolen] like that."
His sisters, who were present in court, both said Pokora is intelligent and has grown up since being arrested in March 2014.
"This has been a very big wake-up call for Dave," Jessica Pokora said.
Pokora's attorney, Solomon L. Wisenberg, asked the judge to not sentence Pokora to any additional prison time. McAndrew requested two years in prison.
Sleet found a middle ground and said he weighed the need to deter other international hackers against Pokora's own remorse and likelihood of a bright future, possibly even working to protect one of the companies he had targeted.
Prosecutors first learned of the hacking group in 2011 when FBI agents in Delaware got a tip. None of the hackers are from Delaware, but the case was prosecuted here because of the initial tip and because some of the targeted companies are incorporated in Delaware.
Apr 24, 2015 - 8:15 PM - by garyopa
One-click buying from Amazon, plus a tiny smartwatch screen, leads to unintended consequences.
On the first day of the Apple Watch's official availability, CNET decided to demo some of the leading apps for the smartwatch via Twitter's Periscope app in a loose, improvised session.
Today the world of connected cool looking nerds got their Apple Watch, and the first thing many did, was hop onto Twitch and start showing it off their friends, well this live demo went quickly wrong as the proud new Apple Watch owner was soon an Xbox One owner.
Lucky for him there was old-school thing called a 'Laptop' nearby and he was able to login and cancel the order the old-fashion way!
Taking questions from the viewers of our livestreaming video, broadcast from the CNET kitchen in New York, we demoed a couple of Apple Watch apps, including Fandango and Amazon, and also discovered one of the shortcomings of app interaction on such a tiny screen.
During a demo of the Amazon app on the Apple Watch, Scott used voice commands to search for a couple of items, getting the best result when he searched for an Xbox One gaming console. He saved the item to a wish list, while specifically warning against tapping the very large one-click ordering button that took up most of the screen. A second later, while waving his finger to emphasise that point, he accidentally touched the Apple Watch screen and an Xbox One console was immediately ordered in his name, thanks to the single-step one-click ordering process.
The reaction was priceless, with plenty of "lol" comments from the live viewers on Periscope. Unfortunately, our exported Periscope video doesn't include the social media interactions, but our shock and amazement at how easy it was to order a $300-plus game console makes this short 2:30 video worth a viewing.
NEWS SOURCE: Accidentally order an Xbox One through your Apple Watch (via) CNET
Apr 22, 2015 - 7:42 PM - by garyopa
Invites are going out to those who signed up for the beta which starts tomorrow and ends on the 27th
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited for PS4 and Xbox One will begin a limited beta test beginning tomorrow, Zenimax Online has announced.
If you been waiting everyday to be able to finally enjoy some Elder Scrolls on your nex-gen console, you are in luck as the beta starts tomorrow, but sadly if you didn't sign-up in advance, tough luck, and also not everyone going to get an invite either, plus even more sad the Beta only runs until April 27th which is just days away, and if you on slow internet be warned it is will be a huge download!
So there you go all the good and bad news. -- Are you going to be one of lucky ones to try it out? -- And what you think of the fact the game does not fit on blu-ray disc, is that the signs in the near future that alot of next-gen games will need connected systems after you purchased your physical disc to be able to grab the rest of missing bits & bytes they could not include along with already the large day 1 normal bug fixes we have already seen on other games these days.
The limited public beta will only be open to those who receive an invite, and you'll need to have previously signed up to take part. This will be the only beta for the console game, with the full launch set for June 9. Not everyone who signed up to take part will receive an invite.
Those who do get an invite will be able to begin tomorrow and play through until next Monday, April 27. The beta will feature the full console version, not a slimmed down edition just for the test.
Zenimax Online also confirmed that players should be prepared for a massive day one download when the full game arrives at retail.
"With the console beta just around the corner, we're sure everyone is interested to know the size of the game client in order to get your hard drives ready,"
explains the blog post. "ESOTU is an incredibly massive game, both in terms of sheer scope and the data required to bring you this truly enormous experience. At the moment, the client will exceed a 50GB Blu-ray disc which means there will also be a large day-one patch that is somewhere in the region of 15GB."
NEWS SOURCE: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited console beta begins tomorrow (via) VideoGamer
Apr 21, 2015 - 5:50 PM - by garyopa
Go behind the scenes with FreeStyleGames to learn more about the making of Guitar Hero Live.
See how the Live-action elements have been created with real bands and crowds who react to what you play. Learn more about GHTV, the world’s first playable music video network.
Just when you thought the living room was safe from your pop teens or young adult wannabe country artists, or aging not-dead-yet rockers, think again because even tho last year when next-gen consoles were announced they all said that things like Guitar Hero and Rock Band were gone forever, well if you been living under a rock the last month, we got to break the sad news to those that don't want to see themselves or their drunk friends acting like idiots air guitar'ing if front of their big screen tv, that it is all coming back next-gen style of course, and today we been informed by studio behind the return of Guitar Hero a nice behind the scenes look of their progress.
All sounds good, until you read the words 'GHTV, The World's First Playable Music Video Network', so personally to me that sounds like besides buying your new fancy six-button controller, you going to have to be online 24/7 and paying a monthly fee for their 'network'.
Apr 20, 2015 - 6:18 PM - by garyopa
'This year's E3 might feel different from past E3s but I like focusing on our games,' Phil Spencer
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has started to tease his fans on Twitter, with what they can expect from this year's E3 event, like the fact Microsoft is going to focus more on 'first-party' games and new IPs.
With now less then two months before E3 2015 starts this summer in June, Microsoft has started their final planning, and their Xbox boss has decided to tease his followers with little hints on how this year's E3 event will be shaping up for all the next-gen console fans.
One major change is this year will be more focus on Microsoft's growing library of first-party games, and he also dropped hints that they have some new exclusive IPs in the pipeline for this year's event, that we had not even heard of name drop of what it could be yet.
Well now that their 'internal' (April 20th) planning stage meeting is over today, I am sure we will see 'possible' fake rumors posted on various Xbox fanboy sites, and even on some mainstream media sites, but what if any of these upcoming E3 rumors will become true.
Spencer revealed the news on Twitter in a back-and-forth with fans who asked about what Microsoft may have up its sleeve for E3 2015. He started off by teasing that Microsoft "should have new exclusive IP at E3," adding that he is "trying to make this E3 more about first-party than past E3s."
This doesn't mean third-party games will be missing at Microsoft's E3 showing this summer, Spencer stressed in a follow-up tweet. "And to be clear we will have third-party deals, it's just, [in my opinion], important to focus on and support our first-party," he said.
Among other franchises, Activision's Call of Duty series is one of the biggest third-party games that historically gets stage time at Microsoft's annual E3 event. This is, of course, likely due to Microsoft's long-standing exclusivity arrangement with Activision for Call of Duty DLC.
Spencer went on to say that he's aware that Microsoft's new first-party E3 focus means this year's show might "feel different from past E3s." However, "I like focusing on our games," he explained.
Some of Microsoft's first-party game announcements from last year's E3 included Scalebound, and new entries in the Crackdown and Phantom Dust franchises. Looking to this year, Microsoft has already said it plans to talk more about Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, and something new in the Gears of War franchise at E3. Other first-party possibilities include Rare's new game and Quantum Break (recently delayed to 2016), while there are always surprises kept under wraps until the big show.
Spencer and the rest of the Xbox planning team are scheduled to hold an internal meeting today, April 20, to discuss what Microsoft will show during its E3 presentation. He said Microsoft will hold a "full-day content review for E3" on Monday, in an effort to look at "everything we might show." He went on to say that days like today are "some of the best work days; inspiring."
NEWS SOURCE: Xbox E3 Will Focus More on First-Party This Year (via) GameSpot